John Bowers, Jr. Named Recipient of 2024 Virgil "Buddy" Raines Award

Prominent New Jersey owner and breeder John Bowers Jr., whose Roseland Farm Stable boasts an impressive list of state-bred stakes winners, has been named the 2024 recipient of the Virgil “Buddy” Raines Distinguished Achievement Award, it was announced today by Monmouth Park.

The Raines Award, currently in its 29th year, is presented annually just prior to Monmouth Park’s season opener. It honors men and women who have demonstrated a continuing commitment to the sport of Thoroughbred racing as an owner, trainer or administrator, and whose conduct has been exemplary for professionalism, integrity and service to the sport.

Monmouth Park’s 79th season of racing gets underway on Saturday, May 11.

Bowers has twice been honored by the state’s Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association as the Breeder of the Year in New Jersey (2020 and 2021).

He bred and owned He’spuregold, the state’s champion older male in 2022, as well as top New Jersey-bred performers Pickin’ Time, Royal Urn and Thistyranthasclass.

Pickin’ Time won the Grade 3 Nashua Stakes in 2020; Royal Urn was the state’s champion male sprinter and older horse in 2021 and Thistyranthasclass was a multiple stakes winner.

Bowers also bred Grade 3 winner Smart N Classy, who has a stakes race named for her at Monmouth Park. Stay Smart, a daughter of Smart N Classy who was bred and owned by Bowers and his long-time advisor Ed Rosen, won the race in 2020.

“John Bowers, Jr. has been synonymous with New Jersey-breds for over 40 years,” said Michael Campbell, executive director of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey. “His breeding operation has produced horses that can compete in the biggest races, and I am proud they are New Jersey-breds. He is a worthy recipient of the Buddy Raines Award, considering his impact on the New Jersey breeding and racing programs.”

Bowers and his wife Joan established Roseland Farm Stable in nearby Colts Neck in 1974.

“He is the epitome of what a person would want to be as far as training Jersey-breds,” said three-time Monmouth Park training champion Kelly Breen, who has trained for Bowers the past six years. “He has bred some of the most talented Jersey-breds we’ve seen in recent years.

“He’s a great owner to work for. He breeds and owns horses but he also cares about his old horses. I think we’ve claimed a couple of horses just so they could be retired and taken care of once they were done racing.

“It’s a well-deserved honor.”

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